DIY: Watercolor 101

     Jess is the artist of the family, she got it from my Dad.  I, on the other hand, inherited my Mom’s just-make-it-work-creativity.  That being said, I love watercolor.  There are so many fun options and it’s relaxing.  Maybe it’s my love of all things water, with my San Diego roots, but it’s calming to me.  Also, the fact that it’s a more abstract form of art, so broad strokes do a great deal…and I like that.  

  What you will need:

 1) Watercolor paper~having the right paper is key.  This paper is designed to absorb lots of water and not fall apart, or curl.
2) Watercolor pains~I use a drugstore set from RiteAid, they aren’t fancy, but they work just fine for little things like this.
3) Watercolor brushes~I still work in broad strokes, so a flat thick brush works for me.  If you want to do more detail, or smaller work, get an absorbent pointed brush with long bristles.
4) Pencil~to draw out your tree (sketching out your tree first helps immensely, because you have to work pretty quickly.)
5) Ruler~I wrote a Bible verse on my watercolor, so I used a ruler for the lines.
6) Sharpy Pen~for the lettering.

Step 1:

      Lightly sketch your tree on the watercolor paper.

Step 2:

     Dip your thicker paintbrush in water and wet the entire page.  By wetting the page you are creating an eraser!  It gives you a layer between the paints and the paper, so you can literally blot out stokes you don’t like with a paper towel (as long as the paper stays moist, once it’s dry the paint is set).  This technique is also a good trick for making clouds in a blue sky.
      Once your paper is damp, take your first color and brush it on.  The color will get darker as the water layer on the paper dries, so start with broad strokes, and then do darker shadows and such last.

Step 3:

     Take your smaller brush to make the leaves.  I used a patting technique as apposed to a brushing to make the leaves look a bit more separated.  Again, the leaves I did first blended into the paper more, because it was wet, and the last ones I did have more definition.  The look you want is entirely up to you.

Step 4:
     Write out the quote or Bible verse that you want to use on a piece of paper first, so you know how many lines it will take for spacing.

Step 5:

     Using the ruler, space out your lines.

Step 6:

      Draw your might help to use a right angle to do this as well.

Step 7:

     Use a pencil to write out your verse.
Step 8:

      Trace the pencil writing with a thin, permanent marker.     Erase the pencil lines, and your done!  If you are blessed with beautiful handwriting, yours will turn out much better ;).  

     I heard this verse at church this past week, and this image popped into my head.  It’s a good reminder to meditate day and night on what is good, and not to let the everyday struggle win.  To have faith that if I am planted in Him, what I do shall prosper.  Amen!


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